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Irish Bouzouki

28 Jan 99 - 06:19 AM (#56059)
Subject: Irish Bouzouki
From: Roger the zimmer

With Italian to US immigration it is easy to see how the mandolin became popular with folk and country artists but how did the bouzouki get so popular in Irish bands? I've visited about 18 Greek Islands and never noticed a large Irish influence , most overseas family links are to US or Oz.


28 Jan 99 - 07:15 AM (#56062)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: Wolfgang

Roger, you'll find ample information to this question in an interview with Andy Irvine , on the Irish Bouzouki Homepage , or in a history of the group Sweeney's Men .

Here's the most relevant bit from the last page:
"Certainly the most famous contribution of Sweeney's Men (besides some fine music!) was the introduction of the bouzouki in 1967 by Moynihan. This original bouzouki was a 6-string version, which has since been replaced in most groups by the 8-string variant that is now so common. (This variant was probably introduced by John Bailey, who made a flat-backed version with the 8-pegs.) "

Sorry, if this looks like an overkill.

Wolfgang


28 Jan 99 - 01:42 PM (#56114)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: The Shambles

Thank you Wolfgang. Overkill it is certainly not.

While we are on the subject it would be interesting to know what tunings are favourite with players as there does not seem to be standard one, one of the reasons I like the instrument so much. I have never heard two players play it the same way either.

What Irish Bouzouki tunings do Mudcatters prefer?


28 Jan 99 - 02:03 PM (#56117)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: Liam's Brother

Hi Roger & Shambles (& Wolfgang)!

GDAE and GDAD are common. See www.ice.el.utwente.nl/`han/bouzouki/index.html

All the best,
Dan


28 Jan 99 - 02:04 PM (#56118)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: Philippa

Why tune it the same as a standard fiddle, banjo, mandolin or mandola? Well, you won't have to change your fingering. But an open D tuning is really nice, and different - if you play the melody line the other strings automatically harmonise.


28 Jan 99 - 04:02 PM (#56141)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: RWilhelm

I bought one because I wanted to play mandolin solo, so I use GDAE. At the risk of annoying people on both sides of the Atlantic, I play country blues and ragtime on mine.


28 Jan 99 - 05:34 PM (#56165)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: John in Brisbane

Attended a workshop conducted by Andy Irvine at the Woodford Festival 12 months ago. He inspired me to play the instrument, and also espoused the virtues of GDAD tuning. I must admit that I have stuck with GDAE, but this thread is a great chance for me to review that laziness.

Philippa, is your open D tuning F#DAD?

For others who are cash challenged like me, I converted an unwanted 6 string guitar using instructions on that marvellous Website known as Home Made Instruments. Sorry, but I don't have the URL. It is possibly included in the Mudcat links?

Regards
John


28 Jan 99 - 05:38 PM (#56166)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: John in Brisbane

Attended a workshop conducted by Andy Irvine at the Woodford Festival 12 months ago. He inspired me to play the instrument, and also espoused the virtues of GDAD tuning. I must admit that I have stuck with GDAE, but this thread is a great chance for me to review that laziness.

Philippa, is your open D tuning F#DAD?

For others who are cash challenged like me, I converted an unwanted 6 string guitar using instructions on that marvellous Website known as Home Made Instruments. Sorry, but I don't have the URL. It is possibly included in the Mudcat links?

Regards
John


29 Jan 99 - 11:27 AM (#56266)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: Roger the zimmer

Thanks , I knew you'd not let me down!


29 Jan 99 - 01:08 PM (#56279)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: The Shambles

Hey Earl I think you may be having a visit from the Folk Police. (*smiles*). Good on you mate.

I find that GDAE is the more versatile of the choices, enabling nice ringing chords in all keys and enabling me (I do have large hands) to play melodies, without too much trouble.

The other question that springs to mind here is, do you prefer octave or unison strings? I prefer octave as it gives that nice 12 string guitar sound.


29 Jan 99 - 04:39 PM (#56317)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: szarak@telesys.net.pl

Hi,

I play Irish music using original Greek instrument because of the extremely aggresive sound that I like better than Irish style flatbacks. This is a 8-string instrument: 2 top pairs unison, 2 lower octave. Originally (in Greece where I bought it) it was tuned CFAD (one tone below the top four of the guitar). I play guitars first of all, I didn't want to change fingering or use capo, so I retuned it to guitar-like DGHE. Of course I changed strings to more or less ultra lights 12-string guitars set (0.009").

It works.

Regards,

Szarak


29 Jan 99 - 04:44 PM (#56324)
Subject: RE: Irish Bouzouki
From: Kernow John

I must admit to the GDAD tuning and unison strings.
If I remember rightly there is a great list of chord shapes on the Irish Bazouki homepage see Wolfgang's link above.
Regards Baz